IT Band Syndrome. What The Heck Is That?

Luckily, this has nothing to do with an ancient, gigantic spider who poses as a clown to convince the neighborhood kids to follow him. IT Band Syndrome has everything to do with stress and inflammation to a band of tissue, the Iliotibial Band, located on the outside of the knee joint. The IT Band is a ligament that attaches to the outside of the knee and helps stabilize the knee joint.

The next two questions begin with HOW.

  1. How does IT Band Syndrome occur?
  2. How do you treat IT Band Syndrome?


Results from any activity that causes the knee to turn inward thereby causing the IT Band to rub against the bone causing irritation:

  • Wearing worn-out shoes
  • Running downhill or along embanked surfaces
  • Running to many miles in one direction on a track
  • Running to many miles period


  • Decrease mileage or take a few days off if you begin to feel pain along the outside of your knee.
  • Walk at least one-quarter of a mile before beginning your run.
  • If you shoes are show increased wear on the outside of your shoes, replace them.
  • Either run on a smooth pathway OR more in the middle of the road than along the side. Find roads that are not heavily trafficked.
  • If you run on a track, change directions repeatedly.


  • Reduce or stop running
  • Stretch:
    • Stretch #1:Cross injured leg behind and lean towards the uninjured side. This stretch is best performed with arms over the head, creating a “bow” from ankle to hand on the injured side.
    • Stretch #2:Cross injured leg over the uninjured side and pull the leg as close to your chest as possible.
    • Stretch #3: Foam Roller – Roll your injured leg over the foam roller, add more time gradually each day to help mobilize your tissues and break up scar tissue.
  • Ice OR Heat

If you have any questions concerning new onset of outer knee pain or longstanding history, please do not hesitate contact a runner doctor, Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit our website.

Category: Sports Injuries

Tags: IT Band Syndrome, Knee Pain, Running, Sports Injuries, Stretching